Serendipitous Wandering vs. Planned Tours

This post concerns the Steel Rod Sculptures scattered about Georgetown, but if you click on the link, it leads to a very thorough web page made by a very prolific web creator who permanently resides in Georgetown. So this post is not about the Steel Rod Sculptures.

Instead, this post is about unplanned, but mindful wandering about. If I had come across Timothy’s page before, I could have made a walking tour of the sculptures. But instead, I saw them about on the way to other things. Later, I decided to make an effort to study and document each one. Now I can also get an explanation of each one on Timothy’s website.

Seeing the sculptures serendipitously will probably always be a pleasant surprise, a small glimpse into history, and, because they are cartoons, a bit of a mystery. If I made a tour of them in themselves, they might start to seem like a chore.

So I will continue to have destinations, but pay equal attention to the journey.

My favorites sculptures so far:


This one has to do with amahs, or all purpose Chinese babysitters, cooks, and housekeepers. The sculpture here is doing it all “with one kick.” The feminist in me wonders about these women who chose to go to a foreign country, chose not to get married, and chose to do the work of a wife and mother without being a wife or mother. I suppose some of them didn’t have a choice. I also find it odd that “amah” can mean servant, when that’s what I call my paternal grandmother.


This one has to do with cheating husbands. I like it because it describes the history of the street Mike and I are currently living on (a neighborhood of nouveau riche), and the nearby Love Lane (supposedly where the rich men kept their mistresses). It’s also structurally interesting, because as Mike pointed out, the escape rope the man is holding up, is actually, sculpture-wise, holding him up.


I like this one because I love noodles, and I wish there were tok tok carts hawking noodles everywhere the way ice cream trucks hawk junk food in the U.S. Also, I made a comment on Facebook that in the picture above, Mike was lucky to avoid getting hit by the noodle-wanting basket. What I should have said, was that he’s lucky to avoid getting knocked down by another noodle-wanting basket-case.